I was given the gift of having a glimpse into another world of retail - the way I think it should be - and not in a corporate sense, but full of the passions and styles of many individuals combined. My first stop was in a hard to reach area of Connecticut. It was as if I had driven my car right into a treasure chest. I visited a shop that had one-of-a-kind finds from Japan and Europe, as well as locally produced; all beautifully curated and organically combined. I've not seen anything like it anywhere else. All of the other shops in this remote area seemed to have their own unique vision, yet each following suit with one another. I truly did not want to leave this incredible place.
Reluctant to leave the lovely city of New Preston, CT, I left to visit my dear friend and supplier of the beautifully aged terracotta pots that fill my shop. Campo de Fiori is their name, and it is derived from a small piazza in Rome, Italy, and literally means "Field of Flowers". They are located directly off of Highway 7, and house a glorious barn that is surrounded by beautiful gardens showcasing the Camp di Fiori products. All of their products are inspired by history and nature, and are handcrafted by real people. Actually planting in these handmade pots is surely the next best thing to planting in the earth, as all of the materials used in them may be returned to the ground.
From there I traveled to Hudson, NY. Again, their downtown area was full of unique storefronts and filled with individual shop owners, crafters and restaurants - no large corporate logos in sight. This town is not sugarcoated either; it is only restored enough so that you can still feel the history as well as the energy of its past. Even as I feel the need to travel the whole world, I forget that there is so much undiscovered right here at home. The rest of this trip was equally as energizing - back in the city, a day spent with like-minded treasure hunters.
In New York I visited John Derian's pop-up showroom, located above the retail shop on 2nd Street in the East Village. It was laid out beautifully with new pieces, and also showcased was John's new book which is due out this October. I was privileged to get a sneak-peek, and cannot wait to have the books here in my shop - just in time for the holidays. I will keep you posted as to their arrival.
I have also decided to take the next step in my partnership with John, to include his collaboration with Astier de Villate ceramics. These beautiful and rustic ceramics are handcrafted in France. They are food-safe, as well as a lovely compliment to your table; or you may incorporate them into your wall décor. I am looking forward to their arrival after the first of the year, as each order is filled by hand and takes 2-3 months to process.